Are You Leaving It All The Court, Christian?

Church Historian Professor at Gordon-Conwell, Richard Lovelace argues in his book, The Dynamics of Spiritual Life:

“Only a fraction of the present body of professing Christians are solidly appropriating the justifying work of Christ in their lives.  Many have so light an apprehension of God’s holiness and of the extent and guilt of their sin that consciously they see little need for [ongoing] justification, although below the surface of their lives they are deeply guilt-ridden and insecure.  Many others have a theoretical commitment to this doctrine, but in their day –to-day existence they rely on their sanctification for justification, in the Augustinian manner, drawing their assurance of acceptance with God from their sincerity, their past experience of conversion, their recent religious performance or the relative infrequency of their conscious, willful disobedience.  Few know enough to start each day with a thoroughgoing stand upon Luther’s platform: you are accepted, looking outward in faith and claiming the wholly alien righteousness of Christ as the only ground for acceptance, relaxing in that quality of trust which will produce increasing sanctification as faith is active in love and gratitude. In order for a pure and lasting work of spiritual renewal to take place within the church, multitudes within it must be led to build their lives on this foundation.  This means that they must be conducted into the light of a full conscious awareness of God’s holiness, the depth of their sin and the sufficiency of the atoning work of Christ for their acceptance with God, not just at the outset of their Christians lives but in every succeeding day.  It is only the blood of Jesus Christ which is able ‘to purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God’ (Heb 9:14).  A conscience which is not fully enlightened both to the seriousness of its condition before God and to the grandeur of God’s merciful provision of redemption, will inevitably fall prey to anxiety, pride, sensuality and all the other expressions of that unconscious despair which Kierkegaard called ‘the sickness unto death’.” (101)

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